21 Nov 2017
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DHX Media inks streaming deal in China for ‘Teletubbies’

MUMBAI: DHX Media, a global children’s content and brands company, is expanding its global reach through a deal with Youku, a Chinese streaming platform, to launch its new Teletubbies series in the country.

Youku will deliver seasons one and two of the hit preschool series to Chinese audiences via subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) and advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services. Season one will premiere in the territory on 1 June, with season two to follow at a later date.

To date, DHX Media has licensed more than 9,700 half-hours of content across numerous digital and linear services in China, leveraging more than 2,500 half-hours of Mandarin-dubbed content in its library.

Youku is a Chinese digital entertainment platform. Youku is committed to building an expansive multi-screen entertainment and media ecosystem for the global Chinese audience. Covering 580 million monthly active devices, Youku’s content is accessible across multiple screens making it one of the top internet entertainment and media destinations in China.

In a separate deal, DHX Brands, DHX Media’s dedicated brand management and consumer products arm, has appointed Promotional Partners Worldwide (PPW) as the licensing agent for Teletubbies in China. Driving expansion into China with the appointment of one of the region’s premier licensing agents, DHX Brands aims to tap into the enormous potential in the country for the Teletubbies consumer products program. This follows the recent appointment of Candy Ho as business development director for DHX Brands, establishing a base for the business from Hong Kong.

DHX Media executive VP distribution and content Josh Scherba said, “China is a major market for the new Teletubbies as we continue the global rollout of the brand. We are delighted that leading digital platforms continue to license more of our kids’ programming. Youku is ideally suited to deliver the new series to Chinese audiences. The show will be available across all devices, building on the tremendous legacy that these four lovable characters have in China.”

DHX Brands executive VP Peter Byrne said, “DHX Brands is delighted to be working with licensing industry leaders PPW as we bring the new ‘Teletubbies’ to today’s audience in China. PPW’s expertise in the launch and establishment of preschool properties in the Chinese market is unrivaled, and we look forward to successfully building the ‘Teletubbies’ consumer products program together.”

As the flagship property in DHX Media’s strategy to build global brands, the new Teletubbies continues to perform well and is gaining international momentum. The worldwide licensing program is growing rapidly, with more than 85 top-tier partners already on board, underscoring its position as one of the best-loved and most-recognizable children’s properties.

The new ‘Teletubbies’ series follows the same four huggable characters and styling as the original show and has been visually modernised by DHX Media and UK production company Darrall Macqueen, bringing a refreshed and contemporary look and feel to one of the world’s favourite preschool properties. Outside of China, the show has been picked up by 24 broadcasters worldwide to date, as well as Amazon Prime Video in the UK, where the commissioning broadcaster is CBeebies.

The market potential is significant for the ‘Teletubbies’ with approximately 226 million children under the age of 14 on the Chinese mainland, and the number of newborns is expected to climb up to 21 million annually by 2021. Retail sales of toys and games in China grew at an average annual rate of two per cent from 2010 through 2015, and are expected to exceed $43.5 billion within the next two years.